Worries about money are very common, both in my own personal experience and in what I run into as a pastor.
Sometimes when we worry about money, we say things like, “we trust God to give us enough to live on”, and “God has given us lots of other good things”. And those are good and true sentiments. But we often seem to overlook the possibility that God is actively sanctifying us by withholding money.
We often seem to think that unlimited financial resources would be a good thing, but a look at the lives of the rich and famous should dispel that notion. Are they really just much more immoral people than anyone else? I don’t think so. I just think they’re a good example of what happens to people when the normal restraints are taken away.
God has all the resources in the world. He could make us as rich as He wanted to. And he’s our loving heavenly father, who would never withhold anything from us, according to Romans 8:32. Therefore, any money that we do not have must be actively being withheld from us by God, in order to work in us precisely what God wants to work in us.
So when we consider our financial hardships, or in fact any other kind of hardship, we ought not simply to say, “well, God’s blessing me in other ways.” Instead we ought to realize that God is blessing us with the hardship itself.
Nothing on this earth ultimately matters. Only the relationship with God ultimately matters. This is the only thing of eternal significance. And so, Christ tells us to use the mammon of unrighteousness for eternal benefit. That is, we ought to pray for guidance and understanding to see how God is working an eternal benefit in us through our present financial circumstances.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promises. If there’s something we think we need or want, there’s a reason why we don’t have it, and it’s because we have an eternal father who loves us who has planned our lives for maximum benefit. For the goal that God has for us, every aspect of our lives is exactly what it ought to be.
Let’s all remember that, as we remember to be thankful this Thanksgiving. We ought to be thankful not only for the obvious good things in our life, but for every single thing we have. The challenges and hardships will be a better thing for us in the long run, than the riches and easy pleasures of this life.